‘This game is about scoring points and winning’: Byron Leftwich says Bucs can score even more


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Twice in six games this season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have scored 45 or more points. Their 32.5 points per game ranks third in the NFL and yet they still think they’re leaving points out on the field each week.

When asked this week leading up to their Week 7 match-up against the Chicago Bears where the Bucs can improve, offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich gave this response:

“Score more points,” Leftwich said. “This game is about scoring points and winning. It’s not really about nothing else. This isn’t the game from 25 to 30 years ago and the way it was played. I always think of doing what we need to do to score more points. Now, in thinking and having that thought — how do you get that done? Well, you get that done by improving ourselves in the run game, improving ourselves in situational football, and improving what we do well. Like I said, every game we come in here and wished we played a little better. We don’t think we’ve played our best football yet. So, we’re still just striving to have that game where we can go out there and play our best. We want to be consistent at it week-in and week-out.”

This Bucs offense will be challenged this week by a Bears team that has a top 10 defense in the league and is only allowing just 20.7 points per game.

On the offensive side of the ball, Tampa Bay will be without tight end Rob Gronkowski for a ribs injury for the fourth-straight game, and also without wide receiver Antonio Brown for an ankle injury. But they’ve proven all season that they have no shortage of offensive assets, including their top receiver Mike Evans (420 receiving yards and four touchdowns) and top rusher Leonard Fournette (332 rushing yards and three touchdowns). But if they need to go further down the depth chart, both Leftwich and quarterback Tom Brady agreed that they have confidence in everyone on this roster — top to bottom.

“Tyler (Johnson), Scotty (Miller), the guys that don’t play a lot – they’re just waiting for an opportunity,” Leftwich said. “I have the ultimate trust in everybody on this team. I have the ultimate trust in Tyler and everyone else that they’ll go out and play to their abilities and play the way they’re supposed to play. So, I have the utmost confidence in everybody we have on the roster if they have to play.”

“Whenever guys aren’t out there, other guys have to step up and perform and do the job,” Brady said. “It also gives them an opportunity to kind of show what they’ve been (doing). They haven’t had as much opportunity but then they get out there and you’re like, ‘Wow. He did a great job. He was prepared.’ That’s what real professionalism is.”

“You never know when you’re going to get your chance,” Brady continued. “When you get it, you’ve got to take advantage of it. Sometimes you don’t get your chance because other guys ahead of you are just doing a great job. The worst thing to do is to get your chance and then screw it up. Then everybody goes, you know, he ruined his opportunity. That happens too much. You’ve got to try to keep the urgency that when guys get the opportunity to play, they go out and they do something well.”

The Bears and Bucs kick-off at 4:25 p.m. on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. If the Bucs win and improve to 6-1, it’ll be their best start in franchise history.

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